Cyclists rejoice: Starting Monday, July 8, Central Park north of 72nd Street will be a car-free zone, the NYC Department of Transportation has announced. The closure, a boon for people who walk, bicycle and skate in the park, will be in effect through Labor Day.
The West Drive is normally open to cars from 8 to 10 a.m., and the East Drive from 3 to 7 p.m. on weekdays and is closed at all other times. The DOT notes that pedestrians and bicyclists outnumber cars by 3 to 1 during summer when overall traffic volume is at its lowest, and that traffic volume on the drives as well as the adjacent streets has declined in recent years.
The initiative is part of the city’s Summer Streets program, which provides car-free access to a 7-mile stretch of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park — and includes a full program of entertainment and activities along the way — for the first three Saturdays of August from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Learn more about Summer Streets.